The upcoming Zelda-esque action RPG Oceanhorn is one of the most anticipated games amongst our community, and I've been dying to get my hands on it myself. Especially after a premature copy was accidentally released in late February, further teasing us anxious gamers. At GDC last week I finally got to sit down with Phillip from FDG Entertainment, who signed on last December to help developer Cornfox & Bros wrap up development on the title, and give Oceanhorn a spin.

Unfortunately, there were issues with Oceanhorn and our capture hardware, so we weren't able to do the typical hands-on commentary video like we had been doing all week at GDC. However, FDG was nice enough to capture about 5 minutes of footage through their own simulator so we could have a look at the early goings in the game.

Oceanhorn will tell its story via many cutscenes and voiceover work, but since those elements haven't been finalized yet they've been omitted from this hands-on look. So it's just straight up gameplay, but I'll try to give the video some context. Your father is missing after fighting the evil sea monster Oceanhorn, and it's up to you to finish the job. Your first quest in the game is to track down your father's old sword and shield, then get the sailboat that lets you explore the huge open game world and properly begin your adventure.

From the storyline, to some of the game mechanics, to the Wind Waker-esque open-sea sailing, the Zelda influence is apparent in Oceanhorn. That's not a bad thing at all, by any stretch, as it'll likely be a cold day before we see our pointy green-hatted hero on an iOS platform. More importantly, though, is that despite those similarities Oceanhorn still feels like its own thing. It nods but doesn't pilfer, and it's been tailored beautifully to be played on the touchscreen.

Sadly Oceanhorn is still a ways off, and likely won't be hitting until late this year at the earliest, but if my sampling of the game at GDC is any indication it will certainly be worth the wait.

  • Chuck Anton

    is this an april fools joke?

    • cobbyco

      I hope the 'later this year' bit is.

  • Aventador

    I don't have words that describe how beautiful this game looks.

    • wingz

      I do, looks like Zelda

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      • Zeldaniac

        No one gives a single crap, my friend.

      • Zeldaniac

        Aw, they removed the spam comment and made mine unfunny. Now I look like an Oceanhorn-hater.

        So, to redeem myself, this looks awesome!!!

  • Platyrrhine

    Late this year? Sigh :(

    • tahzblade

      Well the later the game is released the better the game will be but they have been working on this for years

      • tahzblade

        When it releases it will be a great damn game :D

  • Rusothil

    Did they tell you what the difference between gold and rupee (gem looking things) were?

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      If I understood correctly the coins are just coins and the diamonds are like your experience points.

      • Rusothil

        Thank you Jared!

      • cobbyco

        Hopefully you WON'T be able to buy more coins with IAP, as in my opinion that would ruin the game.

  • http://twitter.com/klouud Timothy Polumbo

    Pardon my crude language, but: This is an iOS gamer's wet dream! Holy take my money Bat-Man!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/olly.be Olly Be

    this game better be worth the wait

  • JBRUU

    I'm really looking forward to this one.

  • Madison

    PLEASE NO IAP. I WILL PAY $20,00 FOR THIS. KEEP IT A CLEAN GAME. THIS IS PREMIUM CONSOLE QUALITY. <3

    • Allen Arcelo

      Doesn't seem like there will be any major IAP's. The game itself looks to be a major Zelda clone so the coins might be used to buy potions or bombs. If there will be IAP I imagine it to be used on enhancing the game rather than pay-to-play. Of course this is just speculation.

    • cobbyco

      IAP is good for extra content like level packs and non-essentials like extra characters, but when used for freemium I hate it. This will be a no-go for me if its freemium.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003114225958 Facebook User

      I've always been an advocate for traditional pricing for iOS games that offer a console quality experience. This game looks beautiful and I can't wait to see more.

  • pylos

    It kinda looks like the Lego starwars games?

    • cobbyco

      Lego Star Wars, or in fact any of the Lego games are nowhere as good as this. I can safely say that without even playing this.

  • iVaro

    Tears of joy came to my eyes watching this

  • Mr. Grizzly

    Wow, this looks so amazing! ;)

  • Eidaven

    Wow! This looks amazing! So is this going to be iPad only or is it going to be universal?

    • Zeldaniac

      I think the devs stated that they want it to be on as many devices as possible (including my iTouch 4G!!)

    • cobbyco

      Their 'secret' video showed identical gameplay from an iPhone 4S and an iPad 3rd Gen, so it should be available on iPhone/iPod touch as well (unless they've dropped support for them, which isn't likely).

      Universal? Probably. Although I'm interested in whether it will support older devices like the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4th Gen.

      • themostunclean

        The original video was an iPad 2. It was released 3 months before the launch of the 3rd gen iPad.

        It will be interesting to see if it supports the touch 4 since that device seems to be getting short-changed a LOT lately. iPhone 4 is more likely, people mistakenly think the touch was equal in power because they both had the same processor, but it wasn't (512mb vs 256mb RAM, same as a 3GS).

  • Allen Arcelo

    C'mon, this is just ridiculously good! Tell me this isn't real, this is just an April Fools joke right? Lol! But seriously, I am now officially mind blown!

  • MidianGTX

    I'd rather drop the voices and save a TON of space. Text is fine.

    • http://twitter.com/PrayForDeath Pray For Death

      Drop the voice and use that budget to make the game better

  • themostunclean

    This looks so much more polished than their original video! That may just be because its a direct capture instead of a 3rd person video. Either way, looks amazing. Ever since IBD was put "on hold" this has been my #1 anticipated game.

    Speaking of dungeon crawlers, Gameloft announced DH4 last week and I haven't heard anything on TA about it. Exciting part is they've ditched the arena model to go back to a true adventure game. Early screenshots show a complete lack of freemium currency counters too so I'm crossing my fingers!!

  • JCat_NY

    Easily one of highlights of GDC!

  • http://twitter.com/melodive Johan Gjestland

    Looks awesome, but that boy has some serious issues.

  • epikninja

    This is so beautiful. The music is so beautiful. Was this recorded on an iphone 5?! I thought it was only on ipad?! Please be iphone compatible.

    • epikninja

      Don't reply, I now know it'll be on other devices :-)

  • sakara214ever

    Wow. Absolutely amazing game. By the looks of it i would gladly buy it even for 20$.

  • Ozzy111

    WHAAAAAAAAAAT LATE THIS YEAR! Hopefully that's an April fools joke

  • daniel5457

    This game looks so boring

    • Ozzy111

      What the hell... Boring NO WAY anyway this is only the start of the game not near the end.

  • http://www.facebook.com/8thRann Rican Rann

    wow my mind is absolutely blown. I agree, drop the voices and keep it to text. may as well do like zelda and have them make a sound with their voice before you read the text hahaha. but no, I didn't like the voice I heard, it threw me off a little. everything else looks AMAZING

  • http://www.facebook.com/8thRann Rican Rann

    wow my mind is absolutely blown. I agree, drop the voices and keep it to text. may as well do like zelda and have them make a sound with their voice before you read the text hahaha. but no, I didn't like the voice I heard, it threw me off a little. everything else looks AMAZING

  • Murderin Murphy

    Beautiful environments. Sluggish, floaty, uninspired animation. But beautiful environments.

  • theorangeipod

    Please support iPod 4. Beautiful game. I knew it would be this good from the start

  • Fybre0ptix

    Am I the only person who doesn't think that this looks like LoZ (and also wish they'd stop calling it 'Zelda-esque', half because it isn't and half because a lot of people will buy it and think it isn't)? Damn, if you want a Zelda fix on your iOS, jailbreak your device and install a GBC, GBA, NES, SNES and N64 emulator.

  • B30

    You've never played a zelda title, huh? Or your FybreOptix are scratched. ;)

    • Fybre0ptix

      Played: A Link to to the Past, Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages, Phatom Hourglass, Wind Waker, Majora's Mask, Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Minish Cap.

      Yeah, mate.

    • Fybre0ptix

      Played: A Link to to the Past, Oracle of Seasons, Oracle of Ages, Phatom Hourglass, Wind Waker, Majora's Mask, Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Minish Cap.

      Yeah, mate.

  • Mekklesack

    I'm still baffled as to how they could get away with this. This apes Wind Waker and Zelda games completely I'd be afraid to buy this, Nintendo could find some law loophole and sue every one who purchases this game. It doesn't "feel right" to even look at it.